UN peacekeepers....yea cause that always works so well. Lots of countries don't even want em if asked cause UN peacekeeping operations have gotten a bad rap not just on actually doing anything productive but on multiple counts of rape and spreading of STD's to the local population by the peacekeepers. Oh, and wouldn't you know it, the largest contributor of soldiers to UN peacekeeping operations is Pakistan....surprised anyone?
Most of the problems you mentioned have come from 3rd world country contributing countries...Ever since they beefed up Lebanon with a new mandate and more EU countries got involved, it has stabilized..For now... Any of you MI dudes who have an interest in ME policy will be aware that the Hezbollah are looking to go toe to toe again with Israel...
All I can say to that is, "good."
Please cite your sources for the points you make above, I'm not sure I buy it. Yes, the Bosnians were grateful for Iranian support. But how did that work out for the Iranians? And are you really saying that the US did not intervene to help out in Bosnia? I wasn't able to find anything that said Chechnya asked for US involvement. Even if they did, why would it be in our interest to help them out? It would only be another crappy, corrupt, extremist pain-in-the-ass country if it obtained independence from Russia. Not worth us getting involved, IMO.
So, even if we assume that your two statements are true, who are the Syrians going to "turn to" that they're not already in bed with? They're already firmly allied with the Iranians; they are state sponsors of terrorism, they prop up Hezbollah and regularly attack our regional ally, Israel (I'm not even going to cite sources for those two facts). They supported the insurgency in Iraq and are trying to proliferate weapons of mass destruction. My point is, there are no worse outcomes for the US if the status quo continues.
However, there are worse outcomes if the current government is overthrown. Our intervention in Syria, IMO, would only serve to facilitate the formation of a government that is even more sectarian and anti-Western and more out of control than the one currently in place. A revolution in Syria will not result in a democratic, pro-Western government. It will result in a Sunni-dominated, extremist, anti-Western government. The current secular(ish) government will be replaced by a Sunni one, and purges of Christians, Jews, and other minorities will follow. Such a government will create ungoverned space in which terrorist networks can thrive. Syria could turn into a kind of "not as crappy" Afghanistan, with a much more strategic geopolitical position and a much higher GDP.
A US-led intervention in Syria would cost us a lot of money (which we don't have) and probably manpower (which we shouldn't be willing to invest). If the UN or the Arab League want to throw money and manpower at the problem of removing Assad from power... fine. I just don't think it's something we need to be involved in, I don't see national interests at stake and I don't see a better outcome for our country if we support the insurgency.
An interventionist investment in Syria would buy us time plus it could create another focal point for jihadists: let them fight there vice coming here. I would advocate sending SF guys in and let them do some old school UW, without the imbeded CNN journalist (Lara Logan would be the exception of course). The proliferation of freedom and liberty is in our national interests...or it used to be anyway.
Of course Lara would be your exception ;)
I'm all about tearing up someone else's backyard to keep them from having to fight in ours. But under what scenario do you see a major threat to the homeland developing: 1) the status quo with a brutal but secular(ish) leader who is a pain in the ass but with whom we can negotiate, or 2) an ulta-conservative, undergoverned, militant Islamist country with major internal issues that they need to channel externally? I'm leaning towards #2 as a greater threat.
Now, if there was an option 3) a peaceful, stable, Western-leaning democracy, I'd be willing to support that. But I don't think history is on our side. In the context in which you're using it, I'm interpreting "freedom and liberty" to mean "the ability to choose one's own system of government," is that fair? If so, freedom and liberty are indeed in our interests- as long as people use that freedom and liberty to make what we consider the "right" choices. The problem with freedom and liberty is that people sometimes make what we would consider the wrong choices. Look what freedom and liberty got us in Iran and in Palestine.
Although it's hard for us to understand sometimes, some people either do not want or are not ready for our style of government. A better way to frame our national interests is "rule of law." Countries can adhere to the rule of law and follow international norms without having a government like ours. In the absence of a better alternative, promoting the rule of law is preferable to promoting freedom and liberty overseas in some cases.
How about where instead:
Phillipines, Grenada, for example.